TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) — A North Carolina pastor has confirmed his son was one of the nine service members killed in a Fort Campbell Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kentucky Wednesday night.

Pastor Tim Gore shared a tribute to his son with News 2’s sister station, WNCN in Raleigh. He said his son, 25-year-old Caleb Gore, was a loving and wonderful child and “everything a father could possibly wish for.”

“He is my Son. He is my hero and I am proud that God let him call me Dad,” Tim wrote.

Residents in the area set up a memorial outside the Fremont Missionary Baptist Church to honor Caleb.

WNCN also spoke with Travis Moore, a close friend of the pastor. He said Tim is still trying to process what has happened.

“This young man that was so full of life, and vibrant, had such a presence about him, now not here anymore, and talking to family, the loss is, it’s a great loss, a big whole in their life,” said Moore. “When Pastor Tim heard the news he couldn’t believe it, the emotions flooded in.”

His father also said he was going to become a registered nurse soon and was taking leadership training.

“Not only is it gonna leave a whole in the heart of his family, it’s gonna leave a whole in the defense of our nation,” Moore said.